Most Americans live with varying degrees of foot discomfort throughout their lives. The foot is a complex web of more than 120 muscles, nerves and ligaments supporting a framework of 26 bones and 33 joints. Our feet work as shock absorbers carrying our weight as they move us from place to place. On uneven surfaces they work as stabilizers holding our bodies upright. Because the feet are small compared with the rest of the body, each step receives a tremendous amount of strain and abuse. This strain is equivalent to about 150% your body weight. Most people will take about 8,000 - 10,000 steps throughout the day and spend about 4 hours on their feet. Needless to say, feet take a lot of abuse!

Most foot pain can be attributed to one of these categories:

Any medical condition that causes a disturbance in the way a person walks, such as spinal problems or deformations in the legs or feet, can contribute to foot pain. Other diseases or conditions can lead to pain or numbness in the feet (such as diabetes),  and neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy or Parkinson's disease.

Jogging, strenuous aerobics, or other impact exercises can injure the feet and other parts of the leg. Common injuries include calluses, blisters, corns, acute knee and ankle injuries, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia and muscle cramps.

Shoes are a frequent cause of foot pain. Any type of poorly fit or unsupportive shoe can cause foot discomfort. Also, high-heels concentrate pressure on the toes and can lead to problems with the toes.